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Editorial: Slaying the gerrymander

Have you ever looked at a map of Virginia’s 6th Senate District? While not as dramatic as Elbridge Gerry’s mythical beast, it does have much in common with his gerrymander.

It includes the Eastern Shore counties of Accomack and Northampton, two voting precincts in Virginia Beach, the northern half of Norfolk … as well as Mathews County. Mathews is considered “contiguous” because it is only separated from the rest of the district by a tiny bit of water—the Chesapeake Bay.

To travel from Mathews to the farthest reaches of the district (at the Virginia/Maryland border) is a drive of more than three hours. And that’s not counting on traffic congestion on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel or the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

There’s a proposal on this year’s ballot that may address problems like this and other gerrymandered political districts (state Senate, House of Delegates and U.S. House of Representatives) in the commonwealth. Constitutional Amendment #1 seeks to take the job o...

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